Where you grew up and your background can often have surprising  effects on our lives and careers.  We’ve asked folks from the community to tell us about how their background has affected them.

Sandra Hernandez | Boxing coach and Fitness trainer

I am from Houston Texas, born and raised. My mother and father however are from Mexico. My Mother is from Sabinas Hidalgo and my father from San Luis Potosi. My upbringing is your traditional Mexican household. I had a very strict father who worked extremely hard to provide for his family and I had a mother who was on her knees praying for her family every single day. These thing have impacted who I am today and I am forever grateful. From a very young age I knew I had to work hard for anything in life. I have always been told by my employers that I am a hard worker. I do my job, and I do it well. If I had to clean I would make sure to be the best cleaner it didn’t matter to me what type of job I had I just knew mentally I had to do my best. Read more>>

Markesha Davis | Owner/Winemaker

I was born in Houston, Texas & raised in Los Angeles, California. Because majority of my background of living resided in Los Angeles there was always a different way to view life. My parents were very hard workers because of the cost of living. Often times my father also picked up additional odd jobs to help feed my sister and brother when we lived in the heart of South Central during the 90s. Our family not only faced rough times with gang wars in the inter city but we faced a really tough challenge when I became pregnant as a teenager and my parents made the decision to help me raise my son while I still attended high school full time. That taught me to pursue my dreams and work hard at it. Read more>>

Meagen Post | ToasttoPost.com

I love this question. I am from a small town just southwest of Houston called El Campo – home of the Ricebirds. It is your typical “Friday Night Lights” small town where you better not get into trouble on Saturday night because everyone will know about it by church on Sunday morning. I played all the sports and participated in extra-curricular activities and clubs throughout junior high and high school. I come from a pretty big family with cousins ranging in ages from two years older than me to eight years old. All of the activities and sports plus family life really made an impression on me throughout my younger years. Read more>>

Martha Villegas | Real Estate Investor

I was born and raised here in Houston, Texas. My parents immigrated from El Salvador in the early 80’s. They came here to build a better life for themselves. My dad worked in construction and labor jobs while my mom raised my sisters and I. I always enjoyed school and loved reading. My parents never forced anything upon me, all they simply wanted was for me to be happy. I’m so grateful for that. It gave me the freedom to discover what I liked and disliked and discover myself. I graduated from high school, got a college degree and now I am an entrepreneur. I’m a big believer that we all have a calling during our lifetime, there is something only you can do, something truly special. Read more>>

Sierra Negron | Family Photographer

I am born and raised in sweet Houston, Texas by my single mother. The women who supported my mother were my grandmother and great-grandmother. They helped raised my sisters and I as well. The women in my life shaped me to be who I am today. Their sacrifice, attention, love and support. Growing up I was a very active child. We didn’t sit around and watch TV all day or play video games. We used to get very creative when it came to entertaining ourselves at my great grandmas house. We were allowed to watch Sesame Street in the morning and then play whatever we could think of for the rest of the day. We would pretend to play mailman with my Great Grandpas old mail, run around the backyard that was like a jungle to us, we would even play in my Grandma’s pond when she lived in Oklahoma. Read more>>

Janine G | Blogger & Content Creator

I am from the Northeast, in a city outside of Philadelphia. I grew up in a close-knit family and community. My grandparents and most of my extended family lived nearby. My great grandparents were both Irish and Italian immigrants. My Italian grandfather was first generation born in America. He learned the welding and sheet metal trade and eventually started his own business. He was one of the most generous people I know, often giving back to help his church and community. Growing up, he and my grandmother played a huge role in showing me the importance of family and having family traditions. They hosted Sunday dinners for our whole extended family at their house every week, often consisting of pasta. Read more>>

Sabrina Lee | Wedding & Event Planning Genie

I was born in Baytown, TX, just east of Houston, before moving to Clear Lake in elementary school. My mom’s side of the family was raised in a little farm town in southeast TX called Magnolia Springs. My parents divorced when I was really young so I spent a lot of time with my great-grandmother, Lillie. We would drive “to the country”, which is what my family calls the farm, on weekends and during the summer. Spending all of that time around such strong, diligent, hard working women, like my grandma and her sisters, definitely had a huge impact on making me who I am today. Mix the country, family-focused upbringing with the influence of a diverse city like Houston and you get one ambitious, authentic Texas girl. Read more>>

Maleny Rodriguez | Artist

I was born in Nuevo Leon, Mexico. My family moved to Houston, Texas when I was 2 and I’ve been here ever since. Being the oldest, I watched my parents as they built our life here from practically nothing to give me a better future. All of their hard work set a clear path for me and I felt like I had a responsibility to continue this and hopefully pay them back some day. Their work ethic was passed down to me throughout my school years and even as an adult. I learned quite young that I could have the things that I wanted if I set my mind to it. When I started my art journey, I knew that I was the only person holding myself back. Having an art business was strange because there is really no blueprint to success in an art career. Read more>>

Susana Vega | Jewelry Designer

I was born among jewels, stones, metals and art . I am from Venezuela, I was born and grew up in the coldest and most mountainous area of ​​my country. Mérida state is very artistic, where painters, sculptors and goldsmiths developed. It is a city full of art. In Tovar (the town where I grew up) my family had jewelry stores. My mom’s father had the first jewelry store there. Years later my father arrived there and was taught by my mom’s father the art of goldsmithing. Since I was born I have been linked to the art of creating, metals and stones. MY mom has always had a very unique aesthetic style. From them I have the passion, the detail and the manual ability to create things from nothing. Read more>>

Klenny Mujica | Pastry Chef

We are from Venezuela, a country full of beautiful landscapes and happy people, we arrived in Houston-Texas 3 years ago with a great desire to work and grow. We faithfully believe that discipline, perseverance, and teamwork lead to success in what you do. Our background and upbringing have also taught us over the years that beyond techniques and books, it is PASSION that drives you to create, to get up every day with the desire to make a new dessert and delicious for your customers. Today we are fortunate to do what we LIKE. Read more>>

Margarita Golden | Bakery Owner and Specialty Cake Designer, Confectionary Home

My parents are both from Guatemala City, and moved to Houston in 1970 with virtually nothing but a couple of suitcases, an infant and a second child on the way. My dad was scheduled to start his internship at Baylor College of Medicine a week after arriving. My parents worked hard to establish a loving family, thriving nephrology career, and sense of home and security for all of us. My dad left before sunrise and came home late every night, but he always came home for dinner so he could spend time with us. My mom was always the family’s rock, making sure we always felt loved, supported, and cherished. Big shoes to fill on both sides. Because of the example I saw growing up, I always believed with hard work, courage, and an open heart, everything is possible. Read more>>

Mariah Walker | Personal trainer and Fitness instructor

I’m from Beaumont, Texas – it’s a small town outside of Houston, Texas. I played sports and danced all growing up and when I was in high school I tore my ACL playing volleyball. From there I was a very injured athlete but always stayed very active and rehabbing which is why I went the route I did with personal training and fitness instructor as my career. I love having people do very outside of the box workouts, normal workouts, and injury prevention and rehab sort of exercises. My past as an athlete, dancer, and dealing with injuries has influenced me to be very versatile as a trainer and to really make a difference in people’s lives and I love it! Read more>>

Fatima Aqil Ali | Owner, Diamonds Unlimited. Influencer @ Fatima Aqil.

My family is originally from Karachi, Pakistan. My Dad moved here in the 1980’s for better opportunities and has worked tirelessly since then. He comes from humble beginnings and has worked 7 days a week, 12 hours a day til today to make sure we have a comfortable life, different from the one he grew up with, and it’s made us value the work we do in a different light. His background merged with my Moms, them starting in the Jewelry industry together, supporting each other, working so hard and never depending on others to provide has impacted me in my life, my sister in hers, and my view on business and relationships in general. Read more>>

Vandi Moore | Jesus Christ Follower & Photographer

I am from Rowlett, Texas and I truly believe that all of who I am today results from what I was freely given at 1901 Chiesa Road – the home of Fordie and Mamie Willis, my dear grandparents. Growing up, along with my siblings, I was raised by my amazing mom and two grandparents who showered everyone with love, humbleness, and generosity; which derived from them imitating the love of Jesus Christ. My mom was a single parent and worked hard to provide for my brother, sister, and myself. So, of course without question, my grandparents were her shepherds looking after her baby sheep (laughing). Okay, that was funny, but seriously it was a norm for us to be with our grandparents all the time. Read more>>

Brandon – Mike Davis – Dunham | Professional Detailing Tech

Brandon Davis and Micheal Dunham We were born in Detroit Michigan Growing up in this city You grow up fast Our family was full of entrepreneurs. We had family in real estate landscaping And painting so it made us want to be business owners as well. Plus Detroit everybody was selling something or providing a service that inspired us. Read more>>